Posted by: tim ellis | August 28, 2005

Vancouver – Monday 25th August

We arrive at our hotel almost exactly at midnight, having been met at the airport by a ‘temporary’ guide, whose name immediately slips through my jet-lagged mind. He keeps up a stream of information on the bus journey – including that our bags will be collected at 8:00 this morning from inside our rooms (“because Vancouver is a big city, normally you will leave them outside”) – and is subsequently surprised when we all carry our bags into the hotel rather than leave them out on the street for the porter, just as all the pubs are emptying!

Breakfast in the morning is in the Hotel (so obviously the Beluga won’t be joining us) after which we meet our guide, Digna, and driver, Denis, which rounds our number up to 9 (Husband and wife – Bill and Ann, Mother & Daughter – Pat & Chan, Lindsey, Sheila and myself).

We head off for the aquarium, which is where Digna works when she isn’t leading parties of tourists to look for whales, so we are privileged to see some of the “Private” areas too, as well as seeing both Orca and Beluga (& Pacific White Sided Dolphin) from both above and below the water, and, less aquatically, a sloth in the Amazon Rain Forest exhibit.

Then on to the ferry, where they had added an 11 AM sailing which we literally just make, with much frantic manoeuvring of the minibus (not helped by 5 ship workers all giving different instructions) to allow the ferry doors to shut behind us. A smooth and uneventful (if rather misty) crossing followed by a whole afternoon of driving to reach Telegraph Cove, stopping only for lunch (“The Pantry” where Digna orders a “half order” of Nachos and has enough left over to feed the 5000!), a “provision” stop at the supermarket and a quick leg stretch in either light rain or very heavy mist!

Telegraph Cove is a preserved saw mill town, where we have two houses, the Bunkhouse (which houses two-thirds of the party) and the floating hospital (Sheila, Lindsey and me). Dinner tonight is in Port McNeill (“The Sportsman Steak House”).


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